Knockout Licensing has been appointed to represent the children’s book brand Bad Kitty and has announced new plans for the lil’panda licensing program.
Based on the best-selling children’s books by Nick Bruel, Knockout is launching the Bad Kitty licensing program at Licensing Expo, taking place today through Thursday in Las Vegas, Nev.
Based on the book series, which features a feisty feline and is published by Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, in the U.S., Knockout plans to build a full product program for the brand.
“Bad Kitty’s publishing success, combined with the character’s seemingly misappropriate behavior that today’s kids can certainly relate to, make this a wonderful licensing opportunity,” says Tamra Knepfer, co-president, Knockout. “Everyone who has ever had a bad day will find it easy to relate to Bad Kitty’s comical and delightfully illustrated misadventures.”
Knockout will work with existing licensees MerryMakers (plush) as well as Wonder-Shirts (t-shirts) while seeking new licensees in stationery, school supplies, backpacks, apparel, accessories, gifts/novelty, toys, and more.
“Bad Kitty has reached the point where I feel the time is finally right to expand into merchandise beyond books, plush, and tees,” says Bruel. “The team at Knockout Licensing gets what makes Bad Kitty so special, and I’m looking forward to seeing that translate into fun and appropriate products.”
The newest Bad Kitty book, Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble, is due out in January 2014.
At the same time, Knockout is building the program for the brand lil’panda alongside creator Stephen Gross to give the property a bigger market presence by the holidays.
This holiday season, Gund will introduce a line of plush; Enesco will debut a broad range of gifting items including figurines, journals, photo frames, mugs, and wristlets; and American Greetings will expand its line of greeting cards.
“This is shaping up to be a big year for our lil’panda licensing program,” says Knepfer. “Lil’panda fashion t-shirts continue to sell extremely well, going head-to-head against some of the most popular licenses in the world at major retailers such as Target. The combination of the adorable character, top-notch design and the expressive positive messages make lil’panda a top choice for girls.”